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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  August 21, 2014 1:00am-2:01am PDT

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officer who shot michael brown should be charged with a crime for that shooting. there is still a lot to see in ferguson, and a lot to report from ferguson, and we will have all of that coming up, including multiple live reports from the scene in downtown ferguson starting in just a moment tonight. but before we get to that news from ferguson, today was also a day of angry reaction, and denunciation by the president of the united states,
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by the vice president of the united states and by leaders around the globe in reaction to the actions of islamic militants operating in iraq and syria, the militant group which yesterday murdered an american journalist in cold blood. they beheaded him on camera, and then uploaded the video of the killing so it could be scene world wide fp today the family of that american journalist, the parents of jim foley remarkably they were able to make a public statement today to answer questions about the loss of their son. watch. >> do you have a message for the people behind jim's death? >> compassion and mercy of jim's actors, for the other captors. we beg mercy. they never hurt anybody. they were trying to help. and there's no reason for this
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slaughter. >> jim was just innocent and they knew it, they knew that jim was there for our country. >> we know jimmy's free, he's finally free. and we know he's in god's hands. and we know he's in heaven. so we're so proud of him, we have to be. happy for him. >> we're the ones that -- >> we need the courage to continue without him. he was an inspiration to us and so many others. so we miss his courage and love, his determination, his laugh,
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his smile. >> he brought so much joy into this family. >> the mother and father of journalist jim foley speaking today along with one of jim's brothers in front of their home in rochester, new hampshire. he was an accomplished journalist, he was writing for the global post in boston at the time of his abduction in syria two years ago. today the editor of the global post did an interview with andrea mitchell. he told her for the first time that global post had had some communication with jim foley's kidnappers. at one point it seemed like they may be receptive to free jim foley. the editor also told andrea after the u.s. started bombing, isis positions in iraq this month, the militant group got in touch with jim foley's family again, to tell them they were still holding them and because of those air strikes they were going to execute their son.
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>> is isis even open to any kind of negotiation? >> we've had communication with the captors. and there was a -- at one time receptivity to a negotiation that would lead to a release. it's impossible to say, because the kidnappers associationed to communicate with us, with the family, so i don't know what their plans are now. we know what they've done, and we have to believe that they're more than capable of doing this again. >> did they cease to communicate when the bombings started? >> there was -- do not release this, but there was one communication after the bombing began that went to the family that stated that jim would be
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executed and we hoped and prayed that it would not. and we did everything ourselves to communicate back to them that jim was just an innocent journalist who loved the syrian people. >> the ceo of global post, which is where jim foley was working before he was abducted in syria two years ago, and ultimately beheaded by isis militants in a video that was released yesterday. there had been some communications with the group holding jim foley, and horribly that the group had sent a communication this month when the u.s. started bombing isis targets in iraq, the group saying they would kill jim foley because of those air strikes and they did. we are not going to show the video that the terrorist group released.
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doing something like this on camera, like similar groups did with daniel pearl in 2002 and nicholas berg in 2004 in iraq. and many other times since. the reason these militant groups do this on camera is to make it into more than just a murder. to terrorize and propagandaize and extort. if they can just make it horrific enough, light it just right, add just the right soundtrack and just the right terrifying verbiage to go with the visuals of their murders, they hope we'll all watch. there's good reason to not give them what they want. and to not help them disemanate the images of them killing people, which they so want the world to see. in part its decency, right? it's not rewarding their behavior and there by incentivizing more of it, in part, it is a news judgment, the
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news value of these snuff films. if there is no additional news value that can be gained, no additional value that can be gained from seeing them commit the actual murder rather than being told that's what the tape describes, there is no reason for any news organization to show the tape. that's why it was disgusting that the new york post today showed an image on the cover of the knife being pressed into jim foley's throat. that's why nbc and msnbc and other responsible news organizations have not done anything like that, and why no responsible news organization should in my opinion. that said, an individual and very specific element of the murder tape that was released yesterday, did become newsworthy today. it's a detail that would not have been disemanated in a news context before this, but it is now very much part of the news of this incident and of understanding how the
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international community is going to respond to this, because today, the prime minister of great britain, david cameron rushed back to london in the middle of his vacation and started convening emergency meetings on iraq and syria within the british government, he did that, because intelligence sources in britain are very worried that the sound of the voice of the man who kills jim foley, they're very worried that the sound of that man's voice specifically, indicates that he is british. that he's from london. the man speaks in english with a distinct london accent. >> this is james wright foley, an american citizen from your country. >> on the strength of their suspicions about that accent -- they're just suspensions, no american sources are concluding anything about the accent. david cameron rushed back to london to convene an emergency
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response in that nation. >> is this what it appears to be? which a british citizen has be headed an american citizen. are you any closer to knowing who carried this evil act out? >> first of all, let me condemn completely the barbaric and brutal act that has taken place. let's be clear what this act is, it is an act of murder. and murder without any justification. now, we have not identified the individual responsible on the video. but from what we've seen, it looks increasingly likely it is a british citizen. this is deeply shocking, that we know that far too many british citizens have travelled to iraq and syria, to take part in extremism and violence. what we must do is redoubleal our efforts to stop people going, take away the passports
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of those con tem operating travel, to arrest and prosecute those that take part in this extremism, to take extremist material off the internet and do everything we can to keep our people safe, that is what this government will do. >> british prime minister david cameron today saying -- from what we've seen, it looks increasingly likely that it is a british citizen, the isis militant who killed jim foley in the terrorist video released yesterday, this beheading video, the prime minister said it is looking increasingly likely that man is a british citizen. and for britain, you see this in the british press. you see this has caused some existential anguish about how a british citizen could do something like this, but more concretely, there is now the question of whether or not isis militants with british passports could freely enter not just britain but the whole of the european union? could they bring this home? the head of scotland yard told
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reporters last week, that 500 british citizens are thought to have joined the fighting in syria. the equivalent number of americans is thought to be several dozen. the prospect of european and american battlefield trained militants coming back from syria to mound isis style attacks at home is something that u.s. attorney general eric holder called more frightening than anything he has seen as attorney general. today as britain grappled with the fact that this murder may have been committed with one of our own and jim foley's family was willing to show some of their grief publicly, and threatened by the same group, steven sotlov, president obama made some of the starkest and damning remarks he has ever made as president.
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denouncing isis and what they've done. >> a group like isil has no place in the 21st century, let's be clear about isil, they have rampaged across cities and villages, killing innocent unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. they abduct women and children and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. isil speaks for no religion. their victims are overwhelmingly muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocence. no just god would stand for what they did yesterday, and what they do every single day. isil has no ideology of any value to humage beings. >> president obama speaking today, the president went on to
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say, while isis may claim out of expediency, the fact is, the president said they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to an empty vision and the collapse of any definition of civilized behavior. very strong remarks today from president obama. then speaking today in connecticut, vice president biden made a similar and similarly impassioned case. watch this. >> our hearts go out to the foley family. it is difficult to lose someone in any circumstances, but the sheer savagery and brutality of the message used by isil, some refer to it as isis, has been -- has exceeded -- anyway, it's just as -- it's shocked the
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whole world. it's because of people like jim, jim foley who had the courage -- talking to press people, they know this better than anybody, the press that's here. it takes an incredible amount of physical courage to do the job your colleagues do overseas. this is not something you go in and assess that like a walk in the park. so many, so many journalists put their lives on the line every single day to bring the truth to the world and the truth to the country. we all mourn jim's loss, but this is one of those cases where you don't have to know a single journalist, you didn't have to know jim foley or anything other than this was a man doing a job hurting no one who was victimized by one of the most
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outrageous groups of individuals that i've encountered in my entire career. and our hearts go out to his family. >> vice president joe biden speaking today at goodwin college in connecticut, soon thereafter, the pentagon announced and the white house confirmed that earlier this summer president obama had ordered a secret mission by u.s. special operations troops to go to try to find the hostages, to find and rescue u.s. hostages there, they're not being that specific with names. the raid was not successful, the statement says that although u.s. troops did go in and put boots on the ground in syria, the hostages were not where they thought they would be. the u.s. government uses the full breadth of our military intelligence and diplomatic ability to bring people home whenever we can, the united states will not tolerate the abduction of our people and will work tirelessly to secure the safety of our citizens and to
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hold their captors accountable. to hold their captors accountable. the murder of journalist jim foley. the threat to murder journalist steven sotlov, these angry words from the president, emotional words from the vice president. the treatment of this as an emergency in britain, our closest ally. this is getting close to a tidal wave of momentum on this subject. president obama started air strikes against isis targets on august 8th, since then there have been at least 84 separate u.s. air strikes against isis targets just this month. the washington post asked an unnamed u.s. official today whether the u.s. would consider suspending the air strikes as the isis demanded in the beheading video unless the strikes stop. the reply was absolutely not.
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the only question is if we do more. and in fact since the execution video was released, and that demand by isis was made that president obama stop the air strikes or else, since that isis video came out yesterday, the u.s. has launched more than a dozen air strikes against isis just today. the u.s. military announced today they're thinking about sending more u.s. troops into iraq. another 300, maybe? in addition to the nearly 1,000 american troops that have already been sent back into iraq this summer. on days like this the pressure toward war can seem almost unbearable. and the pressure comes from all different directions. not just from those who always want more war, no matter what the situation is on the ground. this group isis, wants to be fighting the u.s. military in
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iraq and syria, they want the u.s. military in another war in the middle east, and they want it more than they want anything else. that explains their tactics toward the u.s. when you think they would be more focused on the assad regime than syria and the government in baghdad. they're focused on the u.s. and they want us there more than they want anything. does the u.s. want that too? fighting isis? u.s. troops fighting isis in iraq, maybe in syria too? even if you don't consider the deployment of u.s. troops back to iraq this past june. even if you don't consider that to be the start of u.s. military operations in iraq again, you take the white house line on that and believe them when they say those additional troops weren't the start of any military operations, the u.s. didn't really start hostilities in iraq again, until president obama ordered those air strikes. even if you just take the white house line on that, which is
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arguable, that starting on august 8th, there's a ticking constitutional clock that says the u.s. congress must make a call here. the u.s. congress must debate whether or not we want this will war. the u.s. congress must debate and vote on whether to authorize these hostilities in iraq within 60 days of them starting at the latest on august 8th. if it starts on august 8th we are already 12 days in. amid this surge of disgust against isis, and this murder and the videotape of this murder, and the 14 additional air strikes today. the united states congress must debate and decide on what we do next. what's happening here now is turning into war. congress must decide if that is what we're doing or not what we're doing. there's no hiding from this any more, this is the responsibility that we cannot constitutionally
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days, the community response to the killing of an unarmed young man there.
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he also met privately with the family of michael brown. officials did not allow press into that private meeting or release any pictures of it afterwards, but this was a very busy day for the u.s. attorney general in ferguson, seems like he wanted to cover a ton of ground while he was there. you could see him at a local diner called drakes place. the chicken and tippal ya come highly recommended. he shook hand after hand after drake's place, he had just sat down with a talk for the locals when of all the gin joints in the world, who walks in? captain ron johnson who has brought ferguson if not peace, at least a resident voice of understanding. the two men met today. >> how are you doing sir.
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>> the press could not hear all of the conversation between them, some of what eric holder said to eric johnson he whispered to him. he did not mean for the world to hear it. in the part we could hear, the two men talked about how ferguson is ready for peace, ready for out150iders agitating in the streets to go home, we learned that in the midst of his around the clockwork. captain johnson forgot his own wedding anniversary. >> keep up the good work. >> thank you. >> i will. >> i'm going to check with your wife and see if you're doing that. >> happy anniversary, captain johnson. after that meeting, the attorney general went to another local meeting, the local field office of the fbi to meet with agents who have been canvassing door to door, looking for evidence in the shooting death of michael brown, into which the federal government has launched an independent investigation. in terms of how this story
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continues to play out, in terms of consequences or changes in policing or policy, this stop today may turn out to be the most significant part of eric holder's long day in missouri. the attorney general has pledged the resources of the justice department and the fbi to investigate not just the individual police shooting of michael brown, but as we learned late last night, eric holder and the justice department are considering whether to investigate the overall practices of the ferguson police department when it comes to civil rights. the new york times reporting late last night that the justice department has started considering that wider inquiry, and they started it after reports that ferguson police allegedly beat a man in 2009 incidentally an innocent man not the man they were looking for, and they charged the man they beat up with destruction of property, because the man bled on their uniforms. that 2009 case is working its way through the courts. it has inspired a broader federal investigation into policing in ferguson.
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the attorney general has the right to investigate local police departments. congress started working on that law after the police beating of rodney king in los angeles in 1991, by the time president clinton signed it into law in 1994, the new power for the justice department was tucked inside a broader bill that we more often remember now as the assault weapons ban. the part of the assault weapons ban, it did give the u.s. attorney general the power to take on the police departments to sue them and force them to reform. in the 20 years since the law took effect, it's been used by different administrations to different degrees. the obama administration has been active in using the power of that law to try to end policing that it believes is discriminatory or unconstitutional. in the first five years of this administration, the justice department nearly doubled the number of investigations of this kind from the five year period
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prior to when they took office under the previous president. the justice department started 15 cases in this time. they're actually asking for nine new attorneys and 11 new staff members so they can expand these efforts. the justice department is enforcing what it calls a record number of agreements with law enforcement agencies around the country to reform their departments. these are all towns, cities and states where the justice department has stepped in and said we think you have a pattern of violating citizens rights, here's how you are going to fix that. >> in april, the justice department sent a letter to albuquerque, new mexico. they reviewed 20 fatal shootings by officers and found most of those shootings were unconstitutional. the letter says we will continue to work collaboratively with you. however if we cannot reach an appropriate resolution, the law authorizes the department of justice to violate a civil lawsuit. basically the justice department
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is telling the city of albuquerque, you can cooperate in terms of your department or we will sue you. the justice department has that power. two days after the shooting of michael brown last weekend. william lacy clay wrote a letter to attorney general eric holder asking him to please take a look at ferguson. he cited that exact same provision of that law, the one signed by president clinton, and put to such frequent use under the obama administration, and now the justice department is considering that kind of a broad review under those powers. and again, we do not know yet how wide a net attorney general eric holder and the justice department will cast in ferguson, missouri, the attorney general himself did show up and walk the streets of ferguson today, he did say quite directly that people in ferguson should know that their federal government is very much involved.
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>> our investigation is different from that which the state is doing. we're looking for violations of federal, criminal civil rights, from the local investigation is. but we have brought a substantial number of people here who have done a great job, the past weekend, they continued to follow leads so that we can do a thorough and a fair job in making a determination about what happened on august 9th. my hope also is, through the trip that i'm making out here today, and by stressing the importance of, and the way in which this investigation is going, that hopefully we'll have a calming influence on the area. people know that a thorough investigation is being done, being manned by these very capable people. my hope is that that will have,
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give people some degree of confidence that the appropriate things are being done by their federal government. >> attorney general eric holder today in ferguson, missouri. joining us now is mike jones, a senior policy adviser for the st. louis county executive. he's a former chief of staff for the mayor of st. louis, a former deputy mayor, and currently sits on the state board of education, mike jones has lived in and served st. louis county his entire life. due to the huge thunderstorm that is hitting the ferguson area, he's unexpectedly joining us by phone. thanks for being willing to do that, thanks for being with us. >> no problem. >> attorney general eric holder said he hoped his visit would have a calming visit on the area. explaining the work being done at the federal level would give him some degree of confidence that the appropriate things are being done. is his hope being well placed?
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do you think that will be the effect of his visit today? >> the attorney general showing up on behalf of the united states government sends a message first of all to michael brown's family, the residents of the area that there will be strongover sight and the opportunity to see justice done in this matter will actually happen. i think it has created another opportunity for us in st. louis to actually begin looking at the relationship between the police department and communities of color throughout the metropolitan area. we've had some meetings this morning with justice department officials to talk about this opportunity for training, better
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communication, changing the culture of policing throughout st. louis county. we think it's an extraordinary opportunity to move this region, this county to another level. >> if what happened in ferguson has already started those local and regional discussions, that you just described, talking about policing in a broader way, the relationship of the police to the communities they serve, does that make it less important that the federal government does a broader review of the ferguson police department? they do have the power to come in and put ferguson pd under federal investigation on civil rights grounds? do you think that's a moot issue if it's being handled locally? >> i don't think it's a moot issue at all. thomas jefferson said we're entitled amongst life, liberty an the pursuit of happiness. one thing he said is extremely important, governments instituted men to ensure those rights. the federal government has always been the guarantee of individual rights particularly for communities that have less power and less privilege. their efforts on behalf of michael brown and his family, and looking specifically at the
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issues related to ferguson. >> mike jones senior policy adviser to st. louis county executives. as wicked thunderstorms roll through the ferguson area. we're going to get you back, when we can put your face on tv, in a way we can see the mood. we'll have you back when the weather clears. >> thank you, rachel. >> my colleague chris hayes is going to join us next live on the soggy streets of ferguson.
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as we have been watching some heavy weather roll through the ferguson missouri area tonight. ien watt to bring in chris hayes, who's been on the ground in ferguson for nearly a week now doing some pretty incredible work. chris, thank you. >> my pleasure, rachel. >> let me ask you where you think we are in the trajectory of the intensity of feeling and the relationship between people in the streets and police in downtown. >> so last night was -- there were some very tense moments around 2:00 in the morning, police were sort of going into the crowd and snatching people. there's this infamous youtube video of a police officer threatening to kill someone and giving his name as an expletive. that aside, it was a night that
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did not end in tear gas. tonight we're seeing just a much, much calmer seen out here. there was a little bit of intensity just about 20 minutes ago. that got the crowd very riled up. she was spirited away. that has changed. the atmosphere all day has been much less palpably tense and intense than it has been since i got here. >> what about the visit of eric holder today, when you're looking at these things from outside, the presence of a high profile figure like that, when you're talking to people who are interested in protesting, meeting people about the overall
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circumstance -- is the presence of eric holder a big deal in terms of how this is going to unfold. >> hugely big deal. it's funny, time after time after time that i've talked to residents here and protesters and people on the street, they have cited the department of justice, fbi investigation, the civil rights investigation as this kind of back stop. as something they trust in an environment where they don't have very much trust at all of the local county prosecutor. they can hear some folks behind us up and down now. yes. and his visit today was a big deal. i talked to someone on my show who was in that meeting, there's something remarkable about the fact that the highest law enforcement officer in the land is a black man who can talk about the experience of getting pulled over by a police officer in new jersey as a young man, and the fear he felt. and the air of suspicion that he felt hung over him.
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and having someone who is in charge of law enforcement, articulate that feeling means a huge amount to people here. >> we've seen that in a way with captain johnson talking about particularly his own experience and his son's experience in the way he looks at his son, the way that a lot of police officers look at young black men. and he's identified with them through very different eyes. that sort of empathy has ended up being -- having big material consequences as far as we can tell. >> i have to ask you about something we saw happen, and i saw happen to you, we haven't talked about since, which was a few nights ago, when you got some rocks lobbed at you. you've seen -- you were unhurt, you seem just as surprised at it as anything, what do folks on the street think about this intense presence of media and tv cameras and bright lights and your staging ground there. what's the reaction and relationship like?
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>> it's interesting, it's really interesting. there's diverse opinions, a lot of people who come up and thank us, they thank us for being here. particularly at the beginning, thank you for being here, thank you for covering this. i had people coming up to me afterour live stand saying, i'm sorry they threw rocks at you. i'm going to stand here and make sure they don't throw rocks at you. the police are angry with the media, they think we're instigating, the protesters are performing for the media. the media has become a kind of target of anger. on the hole i found that african-american residents i talked to have been grateful for the media coverage. we're talking to some residents today who are from a different part of ferguson, in a staging area with the friends of the city of ferguson, a newly organized group that is distributing i heart ferguson t-shirts. the view there was more
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negative. the media had come to town and riled people up. it's a testament to the fact that something can be happening to you two miles from where you live, in a community that you just have no idea about. and that's probably where i live in brooklyn. in some ways, outsider media has brought that to light. >> usually in a moment like this i would say watch out for more rocks or watch out for tear gas. at this point i have to tell you to watch out for lightning too. which i'm watching strike behind you. be careful of all those things. we need you back some day. >> we will. >> thanks, chris. what chris was just talking about there about the police officer, lots of people saw video today, threatening to protesters, and saying his name was a variety of expletives when asked what his name was. there's been an important development on that case and that officer, and that incident and that's straight ahead. stay with us.
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meanwhile, former governor bob mcdonald of virginia took the stand today in his own
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defense in virginia in his federal corruption trial. turns out the bob mcdonald defense is really something else. and that story is ahead. [ female announcer ] birdhouse plans. nacho pans.
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okay. here are two visuals that each would have been impossible to predict at this time last year. this is visual one. texas governor rick perry,
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mugshot edition. governor perry indicted on friday, then booked on two felony counts of abuse of power haste night in texas. he will be arraigned in court this coming friday. and today we learned that he's officially entered a plea of not guilty on those two felony charges. so that's indicted republican governor visual one. this would be indicted republican governor visual two. former governor bob mcdonald walking out of court today after taking the witness stand in his own public corruption trial. bob mcdonald and his wife, maureen, are facing 13 felony counts of public corruption. the trial started last month in virginia after three weeks of culling witnesses for the prosecution. thursday last week, the prosecution in the case rested and now this week the mcdonald defense has started. we have been told that the governor was going to take the stand at some point. today was the day, he was on the stand for about two hours today. so far, his lawyers really are mounting a defense to these
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corruption charges that is based on the claim that bob mcdonald has a terrible marriage. that's the defense. you may remember during opening statements, the bob mcdonald defense team put out these salacious details how their marriage had fallen apart and maureen mcdonald had a crush on this wealthy businessman who these two are accused of performing official state business for in exchange for cash and gifts. the defense team telegraphed this was coming. but sure enough, now that the defense has started, the defense really is all about not only how terrible the mcdonald marriage is, but how much many people dislike and think poorly of the governor's wife. yesterday, bob mcdonald's sister took the stand to talk about what she said were two different sides of maureen mcdonald. she said she was often manipulative. today, a witness testified she was possibly suffering from mental illness. when bob mcdonald himself took
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the stand, he testified about how even on day one, even on the day that he was elected governor of virginia, he could tell that his wife wasn't going to be able to handle it well. "i could tell she was not as happy as i would. she was yelling at me about something," suggesting it was about something she was going to wear. later he said he was ready to become governor but said that his wife did not feel ready to enter that phase of life with him. and so they accepted $165,000 worth of gifts and loans from a wealthy businessman? apparently this is a really expensive, experienced defense team and they somehow must be planning to connect these dots and make us believe that bad marriage and wife people don't like equals not corrupt. and should. go to prison. but this bad marriage defense really is the defense that they have started on. that is the substance of the governor bob mcdonald of
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virginia defense to corruption charges thus far. and the defense starts back up with bob mcdonald on the stand again at 10:00 tomorrow morning in richmond, virginia. amazing.
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earlier in the show, chris hayes speaking from downtown ferguson mentioned that last night, late last night during protests in ferguson, there had been a particularly ugly incident which a local police officer lost it on some protesters. a person happened to be live streaming that incident when it happened. watch.
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>> gun raised, gun raised. >> my hands are up, bro. >> hands up. >> [ bleep ]! [ bleep ]! >> you're going to kill him. >> he's trying to kill him. >> get back. >> what's your name, sir? >> [ bleep ]! >> your name is go [ bleep ] yourself? hello officer go [ bleep ] yourself. >> officer go [ bleep ] yourself is trying to kill me. >> i hope you guys are watching. >> he had to be told by another officer -- >> this officer was aiming his rifle in people's faces, threatening to kill them, telling them to go bleep themselves. you can also see another officer step in and point his gun toward the ground and then walked that basically out of control officer away from the crowd that he was
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exchanging insults with. this afternoon, the police department released a statement about that incident, saying this -- >> that statement from the st. louis county police today that's a remarkable turn of events following the officer go bleep yourself incident. that officer not back on the streets tonight and sounds like he won't be any time soon. an indefinite suspension announced by the department. but tonight, things appear to be even more calm on the streets of ferguson. we do know that things can
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change at a moment's notice in this tender box town. we hope it stays peaceful and safe. good thursday morning. right now on "first look," new revelations that the u.s. military had attempted to rescue james foley and other hostages in syria. a calmer night in ferguson, missouri, as a jury convenes on the michael brown shooting. bank of america agrees to cough up $17 billion in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. plus the tragic moment a plane carrying a brazilian presidential candidate goes down. tempers flaring at the buffalo bills training camp. and an idaho woman's electrifying close call. good morning to you. i'm richard lui. following the death of james foley at the hands of isis militants. word now on an attempt to

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